ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)- It is an activity that is sweeping the nation at all age levels, Lego leagues and Lego competitions. The students are given a world problem and are then told to go solve it, and one of the best teams in the nation at doing this is right here in Rochester.
This team qualified for nationals last year and will soon compete in the world competition in St. Louis. The activity may start with legos, but those are just the building blocks to something more.
"When I got into it, I found out about the research and the teamwork and the core values stuff," explains team-member Noah Hanson, "and it was a really fun and enjoyable experience overall."
The Robot Squad, one of the best teams in the country in FIRST Lego League competition, is gearing up to go against the best and brightest the rest of the world has to offer. It takes a lot to go from getting started to competing at a national level. So, what drew them in?
"You get to build stuff with legos," says teammate Weston Fyles, "and you get to move a robot around the board."
Michael Thomas says simply that,"It's robots, and making robots is really cool, and it's robots made out of legos so that makes it even cooler."
When you hear the term "Lego League," the first thing that comes to mind is legos, that's what really gets the people hooked. But what they don't understand is what goes on behind the robot, all the research and technology. In fact, some schools are incorporating FIRST Lego League concepts in their core STEM curriculum.
They are solving real-world problems, this year focusing on issues affecting senior citizens and how technology can help the issues. Through months of research, hard work and high levels of computer programing, they let their robot do the work for them.
That is not the end of their work. They also believe deeply in core values, spreading the concepts of First Lego League through volunteer work. It is a well-rounded activity that offers so much to a young mind, with some fun as well.
"Core values, researching things and problems in our modern world and trying to solve them," says Hanson. "Legos and engineering!"
It is an activity that is quickly bringing out the best in our best and brightest.
This group of kids will head to St. Louis in April to see how they measure up in international competition. They finished in the top 20 nationally last year, so they feel that they have some momentum on their side.
Regardless of how they finish, they take away skills that go well beyond messing around with a childhood toy.
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